The Toronto Star's Sept. 30th opinion piece "Jailing Investors Cuba's Big Chill" is a vicious attack by a major daily in Canada that cannot stomach the fact that the government of Cuba is fearless when it has to apply the laws of the land against any one entity and individuals who dare to get involved in corrupt economic behaviours which is not only damaging to the country's economy but its reputation and ethical values; and therewith the sentencing of the Canadian businessman/investor Vahe Cy Tokmakjian, his associates, as well as a Cuban deputy minister of Sugar Industry and others associated with it.
But why the Toronto Star states that, "Yet suddenly, in 2011, President Raul Castro's anti-corruption prosecutors set their sights on Tokmakjian and charged him and 16 others." Well, as a matter of fact it wasn't so "sudden". For some four years the Cuban nation did organize meetings throughout the society in order to tackle the many issues the country was facing and determined what changes and approaches to be taken. One of the items put on the agenda of the leadership of the government by the people was to fight corruption. And this corruption case was a big one and had to exhaust all the legal process and that is why the Cuban justice system during a public and oral hearing between June 9 to 21 (2014) at Havana's Provincial Court addressed the crimes of bribery, acts to the detriment of economic activity, falsification of banking and trade documents, criminal deception, trafficking in currency and tax evasion against Canadian entrepreneurs Vahe Cy Tokmakjian, Marco Vinicio Puche Rodriguez and Claudio Franco and others involved.
The Corruption of Public Officials Act in Canada clearly states that any entity/individual that gets involved in any behaviour which corrupts officials of another country is liable and must face justice. That is why the editorial board of the Toronto Star shall do its homework first before being Judge, jury and the executioner in the above case and withdraw its demand and advice to the government of Canada, requesting the immediate release of the convicted individuals and their "assets"!
And the government of Canada knows very well that the Cubans have shown ample evidence proving their case in the above-mentioned. Otherwise, the Conservatives in Ottawa are not known to be great friends of Cuba or they would have intervened in the case of the anti-terrorist Cuban Five political prisoners of the empire who did nothing in the U.S. but to infiltrate terrorist and ultra right organizations in order to expose their plans! Plans carried by terrorists out of the U.S. territory which caused the death of Fabio di Celmo, a permanent resident of Canada from Montreal in Aug. 1997 which to this date the government of Canada has not raised a finger to bring the mastermind of the terrorist act-Luis Posada Carriles who walks freely in Miami-to justice.
But why the Toronto Star use of such language as "Castro regime should be put on notice"! To be put on "notice" because fighting corruption to its roots, no matter who is involved, is a bulwark of the Cuban Revolution. And the Cuban justice system is so radical that even the mercenaries who were organized, armed and sent to Cuba by the U.S. in 1961 to overturn the Cuban Revolution could not be abused in any way by anyone even though they had killed their own country men/women at the order of another foreign country! hmmmmm
And how could the Toronto Star attack Cuba! It reported once that Nabeel Yar Khan from Toronto is studying medicine in Cuba free of charge for the simple fact that Cuba's humanitarian health system provides for the education of tens of thousands of humble young students from around the world including the United States and Canada. Who would expect passionate behaviour from a government that is "a travesty of justice" in the words of Peter Kent! And I don't recall the Toronto Star asking business investors/creditors to go to Cuba as a way to "recompense" Cuba for its internationalist and humanitarian acts.
That is why I believe, the Toronto Star is stuck on attacking Cuba while defending business personalities caught in the vice of justice in Cuba for illegal acts! And all of a sudden investigative reporting gives way to vulgar, anti-Cuba verbiage. A Cuba that sets an example for the world over to share what they have, especially in health care, education and cultural values like, "homeland is humanity".
And again one wonders what bothers the Toronto Star to unleash its venom against Cuba and advising investors to stay away from Cuba and go somewhere else to make "a buck"! Is it that the World Health Organization's director, Margaret Chan, announced to the world that "we all have to learn from the very effective approach of Cuba to fight natural disasters and epidemics..." and praised Cuba for its contributions to fight Ebola virus in Africa where Cuba already has some 3000 medical personnel in 32 countries (in the African continent alone) and has dispatched some 450 medical specialists to fight Ebola only to this day. Where is Toronto Star's praise of Cuba!
The truth is that the capitalist media, including the Toronto Star, has no way of hiding for good the truth that comes out of Cuba and the shining path that it puts before the world. That, yes, it is possible with the least of resources and being one of the poorest countries in the world when it comes to underground minerals-or so it is thought- to have the highest level of education in Latin America and for sure ahead of the U.S.; to have the lowest infant mortality rate in the Americas ahead of Canada; or to have a national parliament whereby no one gets an extra penny for being a member of-beyond their regular salaries/wages paid by their workplaces-and has an average age of 51.3 years and some 48 percentage of them are women! Oooh, some countries truly envy that.
Or the Toronto Star does not want its readers to know that while Canada, under the leadership of the United States, goes to war in order to occupy other countries for the sake of natural resources and cheap labour or...; Cuba sends thousands upon thousands of its health workers around the world to save lives! And of course we all should know about the martyrdom of some 2000 Cuban internationalists in the struggle against the apartheid regime of South Africa.
And the Toronto Star very conveniently evades the matter of the U.S. government's genocidal practices of The Economic, Financial and Trade Blockade of Cuba which is very fundamental in the damages done to Cuba's "feeble economy". A practice that is condemned by the world over at the United Nations General Assembly year after year with the exception of the largest military/economic power in the world, the U.S. of A, and the Zionist regime of Israel! And this matter, if the Toronto Star is really worried about Cuba's economic future and "foreign investment" should have been mentioned to show that the paper is not really biased against Cuba; and for embezzlement/corruption and those bad things we all are just sick of hearing, seeing and reading daily in the media which are part and parcel of a bankrupt profit-driven system!
Well, if the Toronto Star is really worried about the miscarriage of "justice" then it should really cover in its pages the case of the Cuban Five and demand justice for Fabio di Celmo since "justice delayed is justice denied" and most certainly millions of people from Canada who vacation in Cuba must have found it safe and joyous to go there and not "open season on Canadians" as the paper wants us to believe.
Hope in vain that the Toronto Star will correct its very dangerously mistaken approach towards the above story and send a team of its investigative reporters to Cuba to find the truth firsthand instead of relying on the lawyers of a company that got caught red-handed and instead of quoting a desperate conservative MP, Peter Kent, looking for votes in a mainly middle-class neighbourhood which is not a natural friend of socialist Cuba! That could be called "easy" journalism but certainly not a serious and sincere one.
And of course the undersigned is more than ready for a public and open debate with the editorial board members of the Toronto Star in order to get to the bottom of the accusations made against the Cuban Revolution, its leadership and the findings of its justice system so we all can take a just stand when it comes to issues related to Cuba.
Take care and have a nice day.